Come Back

Wow. Has it really been over a year since I have blogged?? I cannot believe it. I know blogging isn’t “as cool” nowadays, what with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, etc. The list goes on & on. But you know what? I’m planning on being on all of those less and less (even deactivated my FB and in 14 days it will be deleted! Am I crazy??). I just need a change. Everyone knows the “definition of insanity” – doing the same thing over & over & expecting different results. I have decided to do what I can do “get out of the same ole ruts” I’ve been in so I can live a life that is more how I want to live, and how I believe God wants me to live. Now, this isn’t saying the details are for everyone. Facebook isn’t a bad thing. What I mean by God wanting me to live is this. In FREEDOM. I am not living and walking in freedom by being addicted to FB and tied down to my phone all day. Ha. I want to breathe that breath of fresh air I’ve been so desperate to breathe. I think this is one step I need to take. Once again, to be clear, ME. Not anyone else. 🙂 Someone said I was strong for doing it. I see it as the opposite. I am weak. I cannot handle it in a responsible way so I have to get away from it. heh. Anyway… Enough about that.

A few weeks ago I was at my church and they were singing some songs. I don’t even remember the exact songs that were playing, but I began to pray instead of just sing. I began to pray for the people in the room that were struggling, had addictions, had issues that seemed too big for them, etc. God began to renew my passion for intercessory prayer & a desire to minister to those around me.  I had my arms raised kinda to the sides and God spoke to me that my wings had been broken, but being broken isn’t permanent. They are now healed. They are still weak & tender, but they are healed. I heard him tell me I am going to soar on wings like eagles. Now, the thing about eagles is they don’t work hard or depend only on themselves to fly. They spend a lot of time gliding, relying on the wind. In the same way, I just have to put my wings out & I will glide on Jesus. He will carry me. He is my wind. A lot of times I depend on myself for everything; I like to be in control. But this causes unnecessary stress. He wants me to do what I need to do but not worry about the things He is taking care of. What a relief! I will soar: I am meant for interceding. Even if *I* think I’m not good at it or not qualified. I am meant for ministering to those in need. They have not been forgotten & neither have I.

This was such a powerful moment for me. I have felt lost and weak for awhile now. I still don’t feel strong, or completely found what my theology is, but I am confident in Jesus. He speaks to me. He speaks to us!

I find it encouraging when people share what God has done in their lives or what He has shared with them. If you have something God has spoken to you or done in/through you recently & would like to share, feel free to do so & encourage others. If you’ve been discouraged lately, know this. God doesn’t forget us. We can be lost, lonely, depressed, angry, confused, or forgotten how to walk, fly, or soar… A myriad of things… and he doesn’t leave us or forget about us. I’m learning to not only walk again, but to fly. To soar. He wants you to soar too.

I love you, friends.

Lessons from my kids

My kids have been teaching me a lot. Well, more like God is teaching me through my kids. I’ve been frustrated with a lot lately; mostly with how I react, rather than respond, and get louder than I should when correcting my children (I’m being honest). I also haven’t been spending all the time with God that I need to be spending, which in turn leads to less of Him, more of me, and disobedience on my part (yikes! Why am I telling you all this?!). But here’s the thing… How can I expect my kids not to raise their voices if I raise mine? How can I expect them to obey me and Chris if I don’t obey my Father (whether they actually know it or not)? We have a crazy responsibility of raising our children to love God and fully know His love. I am thanking God for his grace – that it is new EVERY morning (and afternoon, and evening, and…). It is only by spending time cultivating my relationship with God that I will ever change, and be able to see my children change & know Him too. It’s a constant learning and growing process, and I’m glad He loves me enough to not give up on me!

Other lessons my kids teach me daily… To smile, to laugh, to enjoy life, to be creative, to be quick to forgive, to trust even though they’ve experienced hurt, and to love with everything they have. I am so tremendously blessed!

What lessons do you learn from your kids (or kids around you)?

“All I can do is pray”

Ever said that phrase? Ever thought it? I say – or should I say “said” – that a lot. When there’s a situation that is bigger than me and I want to do something about it but usually can’t, I say, “Well… All I can do is pray…” I said it with an exasperated, disappointed, “I give up” type of look on my face & in my body language. Um…. what the heck is that all about?!

As I was saying that just this week to a friend I realized how stupid that saying (maybe even cliche?) is. What do I mean “ALL” I can do is pray. Prayer should be the first thing I do, because it is the most important thing I can do! Too many times I try to figure out what I can do when all I should be doing is praying. It is in prayer that the battle is won. I can’t do anything great by myself. God is the one who does the great things. Not me.

So next time I go to try to handle something myself, realize I fall short, and start to say, “well, all I can do is pray”… if you hear me, remind me: It’s the best thing I can do. And the thing I should’ve done first.

Well, I’m gonna go pray now. Any thoughts about this?

God still does miracles!

I’ve been meaning to blog about this but when I get a moment alone at the computer, I forget! So I finally remembered. 🙂

Samuel had been showing signs of sleep apnea for approximately a year. I’d lie awake & hear him breathe heavily, then snore, then eventually stop breathing. I’d count the seconds, waiting for the next breath. 4…5…6…7… Whoa. That was long. One time it was 8…9…10… Yeah. That can scare a mama.

Well, I looked up symptoms of sleep apnea, asked my friends what I should do, read that kids could outgrow it, or that tonsils and/or adenoids need to be taken out, etc. He had several other symptoms – mouth breathing, restlessness while sleeping, excessive perspiring, gasping or snorting while sleeping, and several of my friends suggested I get him tested.

I decided to share my growing concern with my wonderful husband. He prayed with me like he usually does when there’s a concern, and being such an always- faith-filled person (not!) I went right back to worrying & Googling (such a curse at times!).  My husband, on the other hand, being the godly man he is, felt led to fast & pray for him one evening (let me know if you need further explanation of this. I have some good info in an email but can’t link to it.).

A few days later, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t heard all the heavy breathing, snoring, or apnea episodes for a few days! It has now been 4 weeks & he has had one night of a couple times of coughing, and a couple nights I noticed him “gagging” on his spit while asleep. But nothing like he used to be! God healed my little boy!

I know I’m supposed to blog about this so that everyone will know the awesome power of God & that he still does miracles today. He is so good. Whatever you feel is hopeless, God wants to restore hope to you today. Is there anything we can pray for you about? Let me know!

Crying the blues

Once again, I’m loving The Message’s interpretation of the Bible.

While reading Psalm 42 today I came across a familiar verse, but this time I read it in The Message version:

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God – soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God. – Psalm 42:5

Wow. God’s just been amazing me lately. Later on, in verses 6-8, David talks about how when he’s down in the dumps, he just recalls what God has done & what he knows about God. Sure, his situation may not change, but he remembers God’s faithfulness & who he is, and he realizes he no longer needs to be crying the blues.

Fix my eyes on God. Soon I’ll be praising again. Yeah, I need to remember to do that. There’s a lot to praise God for. My previous post alone is proof of that. God is good. He’s my God. And he is (or can be) yours too.

God speaks

Today at our prayer time at Real Church, I found myself (again) blubbering out words upon words, and I was reminded of Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 “…let your words be few.” I felt like I was talking too much, even though it was all “good stuff” I was saying, so I decided to purposefully listen.

God loves to speak to his children. Sometimes I hear God say things & I immediately know what he means – an encouragement, rebuke, warning, something I’m supposed to share with others, etc. But sometimes God speaks to me & I have to wait to see what in the world he means. Tonight I heard 2 specific things. One falls in the first category, one falls in the second.

The first thing I heard is from the 2nd category (unknown meaning yet). It was simply: “Accept”. I don’t know what that means exactly, and I can over-analyze it until I’m blue in the face (and I’m sure you can too!)… Does this mean to accept people regardless of who they are, what they look like, etc.? Does this mean to accept the circumstances I will be in, even if I don’t like them? It could mean so many different things, but all I know is right now I need to remind myself to “accept” as I walk through life in the next few days, weeks, months, possibly years – and I know God will continue to reveal what he means, as long as I’m willing to listen.

The second thing I heard falls into the 1st category – I knew exactly what it meant. It was a reiteration, encouragement, & continuation of what God had spoken to me late last year – “Something great is going to happen.” But this time, as I was smiling & enjoying this encouragement from God, I heard the 2nd part to this statement unfold. “You can’t be lazy. It’s going to take YOU doing something for it to happen.”  Isn’t God cool? He’s going to do great and mighty things through me – us, YOU – this year, but we can’t sit on our lazy butts & expect it to just “happen”. God wants to USE us. It’s going to take WORK. I am humbled that God wants to use me, as imperfect & broken as I am. God is amazing.

The Power of Jesus

John 17:2 says, For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.”

I was reading a commentary on John 17 as I read it this evening. The commentary on verse 2 explains how God gave Jesus authority over every person – whether they were going to believe in Jesus or oppose him completely – so that Jesus can still give eternal life to those who will receive it. Eternal life means to know God fully; we’re not just talking about heaven here!  I know this sounds redundant – reading the verse & then what I typed – but it stood out to me. I thought it was really neat how even though throughout the years people have tried to stop Christianity (Christ-followers), they couldn’t. Why? Not because Christians are awesome, but because Jesus has the power over everyone.  I don’t care who you are; if you deny that He exists, it doesn’t make him non-existent. He not only lives today but he has power over you.

For those who don’t believe in Jesus right now, this should make you want to give up trying to not believe in Him or prove his non-existence. There’s good news for you though. Jesus loves YOU. No matter what you’ve done, said, or tried to prove otherwise, He still loves you & will NEVER stop chasing you.  He wants you to be one of those talked about in John 17:2 – “…those you have given him.”

Don’t know what to do now? Start by reading the Gospel of John. It’s awesome. It’s all about Jesus & it’s all about the truth. He loves you, and so do I. Feel free to post here or email me if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help you understand more about God & his love for you.